Last week, I took a poll that said the following…

When it comes to writing and putting out music, do you find yourself hesitant and losing momentum because you don’t want to sound like everyone else? 

Do you hesitate because you feel your sound is too unique/different and no one will like it because you don’t sound like everyone else? 

Do you not care about what the “trending” sound is, you just write based on what you like?

I received 203 votes which went like this…

32% of people selected “I lose momentum because I don’t want to sound like everyone else.”

Here’s a few practical tips to help you out.

  • Broaden your pallet by listening to different rap styles from either newer or older rappers and groups. Here are a few rap albums I recommend you check out.

– Outkast Atliens

– Bone Thugs N Harmony – E. 1999 Eternal

– Field Mob –  From The Roota to that Toota

– Cyhi The Prynce – No Dope on Sundays

– A Tribe Called Quest – The Low-End Theory

  • Also, I recommend you listen to different genres of music. Understand that pretty much every genre of music is comprised of the blending of multiple other genres. For example, Hip-Hop was formed by combining elements of Funk, Soul, Disco and Rock to name a few.

I’ve found the more versatile your sound is the less likely it is that you will get stuck due to sounding like everyone else.

The more you expose yourself to different sounds, flavors, and styles the more versatile your sound will be because essentially your sound is an accumulation of all of your influences.

Also 22% picked “I hesitate because I feel I sound too unique/different.”

This is actually a great problem to have as long as your uniqueness is dope! Your music will never be for everyone. Regardless of how popular Eminem is, his music isn’t for everyone so don’t worry about trying to be liked by everyone.

This reminds me of a concept I learned about from Author Seth Godin called “The Purple Cow”.

Just imagine looking at a bunch of cows in a pasture but one of them is purple, which one is going to stick out to you? The purple cow of course!

I believe that most of us are purple cows because we are very complex individuals. As a society, we try to use labels as a lazy way of understanding each other but there’s much more nuance and complexity to us than that.

If you read about the origin stories of The Beatles, Eminem, or even Sylvester Stallone one thing they all have in common is people didn’t get them at first. When you are a trendsetter people aren’t going to get you at first because people are conditioned to like what’s already accepted so that they will feel accepted and validated.

So don’t be afraid to be that Purple Cow. Who knows, you may just start the next trend in music!

And 46% of people picked “I don’t care I write music I like… 100%”

This is awesome! This is what I strive to get all my students to do! Just make the music you want to hear, simple as that! 

There’s a market for everything! Regardless of how much you hate a certain artist, that artist likely has fans that love them!

So just strive to make the music you genuinely like. It’s better to be disliked for you are than liked for who you are not.

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